Potential wind energy of 500GW is going untapped in south-east Europe, WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson has told a meeting of government ministers from the region.

Dickson, speaking at a Central and South Eastern Europe Connectivity (CESEC) ministerial summit, highlighted various problems and made several recommendations to unlock the area's wind resource.

Dickson said: “A series of abrupt and/or retroactive changes to national support schemes in the region since 2013 has resulted in additional risk premiums on projects.

"It is as high as 12% in Croatia compared to 3.5% to 4.5% in north west Europe. This means governments and consumers in the region pay a higher price for the same installations.”

The WindEurope chief urged governments to submit their 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans well before the end of 2019.

The plans should cover the integration of regional energy markets, development of joint renewable energy projects as well as long-term decarbonisation and electrification strategies, said Dickson.

He added: “Investments, economies of scale and cost reductions materialise where the industry is assured of stable policy and regulation going forward.”

Dickson urged the governments of central and south east Europe to remove regulatory and administrative barriers to corporate PPAs, as well as make grids fit for purpose for wind and other renewables.

He said: “We’d like to see CESEC develop a list of priority renewable energy projects to compete for EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility.

"CESEC’s list of priority projects and actions should also include efforts to identify and support cross-border renewable energy projects.”

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